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Madeline Merlo – Extended interview with BC ‘Rising Star’


Madeline Merlo – Local country artist Madeline Merlo talks about her move to Nashville and her new single Neon Love. With two Top 15 Canadian Country singles and a CCMA ‘’Rising Star’’ award, Madeline Merlo is quickly establishing herself as one of our brightest new female country music stars. The Maple Ridge B.C. Native recently released her new single NEON LOVE and just started headlining across Canada and the United states.

Listen to Madeline Merlo New Song

The 24 year old artist moved to Nashville last November trying to make it in one of the worlds biggest country scenes. The Nashville downtown is actually a crazy thriving hub for the industry and local music artists. In fact, in 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked the state of Tennessee as number one in America for its concentration of musician jobs.

While she is aware of the ridiculously competitive market, Madeline sounded eager, ready to work hard, and seem to enjoy every second of it when she sat down with us for an exlusive interview last week.

See the full interview Below !

Madeline Merlo has always had eclectic taste, in her music you’ll hear the influence of classic country artists like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, R&B greats Etta James and Billie Holiday, and modern superstars such as Miranda Lambert. Merlo is also a champion of local artisans and is passionate about promoting new designers.

Just weeks after her recent move to Nashville, Merlo landed on US Weekly’s List of best-dressed artists at the Country Music Awards. She is currently collaborating with some of the biggest names in country on new music, continuing to live up to Spotify’s prediction that she will be one of the biggest rising stars to watch.

Her free-spirited joyful style and passion reflects through her music and her talent still has so much to offer.

Listen to more Madeline Merlo songs 

How do you find the experience of moving from BC to Nashville so far ?
I love Nashville, it’s definitely a spot you have to be if you want to be a country singer.  It’s kind of the Hotspot. It’s also a great spot for songwriting. It’s obviously a completely different scenery and culture, but I came here to grow and work hard. I also still travel back and forth quite often, since I play a lot of shows in Canada.

Do you think Nashville local culture already had an influence on you ? 
Yes, I mean… I am here writing all day, so it’s definitely influencing my writing. My writing has improved just from practicing here.  I think Nashville is so competitive, you really see how talented people are and their work ethic. Everybody is just working really hard, which is really inspiring and terrifying, and a whole bunch of emotions into one.

Did you move with friends or by yourself, because Nashville was the next logical step ?
Yes, I kind of just went there by myself.  It’s something I really wanted to do for many years and it was that point in my career where I was like: Okay, I think the time is right and I can do this… Just starting to make a few new friends, I moved here in November so it has only been 6 months. It’s still quite early, but I really like it…

How did you discover your passion for music ?
My dad was a musician. He was like a soul/funk musician when I was a kid, so… He traveled all around the world playing music and he played guitar at home. I had lots of music playing in the house, Like when I was a kid all the band members were playing  …  So I always loved it from a very young age. I first performed at my kinder garden college show when I was 6 years old. so that was really the start of performing for me and I loved it so much!

So your dad Introduced you to country ?
My dad was soul, like Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Prince and that type of stuff. My mother really loved country music ! She loved Shania Twain, she took me to my first concert. She loved Keith Urban and old old country.

Would you like to explore more music genres ?
Yes I mean, with my music you can hear a couple angles. It’s very pop and in a lot of ways, it has an R&B vibe to it. But for me, it’s just making music that I love ! And I definitely would label myself as a country singer. For sure country is my main genre, but I just want to make music that I love, that makes me happy and that I think other people will like. Genre is one of those things that disappears each day, I think it won’t be much of a ‘thing’ anymore!

Do you stop listening to music from other artists when you’re writing ?
No, I love listening to music, I’m constantly looking and searching for it. New artists and new music and every genre.  I love music from every decade as well. Constantly, constantly listening to music.

Which artist is most often on your playlist ?
I listen to so many : Fleetwood Mac, Shawn Mendes, the new Keith Urban is so amazing. Kacey Musgraves, I’m obsessed with his last record. I also love Chance the Rapper.

Any artist you would like to collaborate with ?
I mean their’s soo many ! I played a show with Keith [Urban] but never collaborated with him, he’s great. he’s an artist that goes by the beat of his own drums. It would be a dream for me to collaborate. He’s not afraid to experiment, I find that inspiring. Dolly Parton, is such an inspiration, I want to meet her and pick her brain. I love Shawn Mendes, it would also be a dream collaboration. He’s Canadian too which is awesome …

Do you have any side interests, what was your dreams job as a kid ? 
It was always music for me… I loved music, always wanted to be a singer, always.  I love animals too, I mean it wouldn’t be another side dream but being around and having my own charity one day. My own foundation that would be something really cool, being an activate for mental illness, thats important to me.

How do you start writing a song ?
You know it kind of goes back and forth. Usually, I’ll starts with an idea, a concept like a lyric. This song is about this heartbreak feeling or else, and then I build off that. But sometimes I’ll get a melody in my head or a cool chord progression and start with it.

It’s a bit of both, I love lyrics, you know those lines in a song that just mixes you … that catch that common breath or exactly how you felt at that moment. As a writer, I try to have lyrics that are intelligent and cool, are meaningful, paired with a melody that matches.

Thats what music is about, synchronizing the two. You know, their’s so many songs that you love or that I love, and we don’t even know why we love it so much. But there just something about it that just makes us want to dance, make us want to cry … It’s about finding what it is that makes you feel that way.

Do you have any ritual before a show ?
Yeah, we kind of round up with band members and jump around. Go over the songs and moments we want to do and I’ll take a shot of whiskey before we go on stage. Say a little prayer, make sure everything is ok.

Ever had bad experiences on stage ?
yes, technical difficulties can make it hard sometimes.  I wouldn’t say horrible experiences, but sometimes even when you’re collaborating you have awkward moments on stage and you just have to go with it.

What about the best moments ?
Yeah, it’s mostly good moments. I love so many parts of this industry. You know I really love to write, I love to record, I love everything. But when it comes to where I really feel home, it’s when I’m on stage around people. I love singing a song that makes people happy and dance. The fact that I get to do that for a job is so cool. Mostly we have good shows, their’s always something beautiful, a moment or a fan that I meet after the show that makes my entire night.

Big accomplishments you’d like to do ?
lot of things I’d like to do and accomplish. I’d like to perform at the Grand Ole Opry [in Nashville]. It would be a big moment on my bucket list. I would love to travel more. I’d love to go to see so many places. I’d love to go to Africa and South America, and Bali and Hawaii and kind of just see the world.

As an artist, I really just focus on music so much.  I don’t think I’ve had a vacation that wasn’t work-related in years. I write a lot sitting in a room indoor, but I also want to be out of the room and see the world and learn about other cultures. You have to live life before you write about it, be inspired about it.

How about upcoming concerts ?
Yes, play quite a bit of shows this summer, all over the country I’m really excited to play those. It’s the first year headlining a show as well, as the main artist on the board, it was a big accomplishment for me. Also in the fall, I’ll be able to jump on a tour and see other cities.


Discover more about Madeline Merlo and her upcoming concerts on her Website


         By Xavier Hebert –


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